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NeilFest RustFest III (Raleigh, 1995, Nov. 11, 1995)
Celebrating Neil Young's 50th Birthday

Your Hosts - John and Linda Meckley

Pic of John & Linda Meckley

The Fest Report

Fellow rusters,

Another NeilFest has come and gone. I had a blast. New friendships were made and old ones renewed. Faces were put to email addresses. Music was made. Video was played.

I can't really describe how great NeilFest III was. The comradery and fun with newly discovered brothers and sisters is special. People from all over the US and Canada come a long way to party with folks they don't know but with whom they share common interest -- the music and "vibe" of Neil Young.

Specials thanks to my wife Linda for her support and help. I couldn't do it without her. (Well, I could do it, but it wouldn't be as good.)   ;-)

Thanks to Thrasher for bringing a great video compilation tape and some killer posters.

Thanks Kim for bring the Neil pics and for taking photos.

Thanks Mark for bring the mic and stand.

Thanks to everyone else who contributed something -- you know who you are.

Attending were:

    A bunch of Rust Folks
  1. Jack Mullins (Shakey)
  2. Kim Mutcher (Unknown Legend)
  3. Mike Young
  4. Julio Laliberte (Syscrusher)
  5. Julio's friend B.J.
  6. Julio's friend David
  7. Geoff Ryan (Locator),
  8. Thrasher
  9. Mike Fiorito
  10. Mike's wife Lisa
  11. Steve House
  12. Preston Nichols
  13. Mark Wilding
  14. Mark's friend Paul
  15. Mark's friend John
    And let's not forget friends
  16. Erich
  17. Kate
  18. Liz
  19. Mark
  20. Tricia.
    And, of course,
  21. My wife Linda
  22. And I.
Some random thoughts:
  • "We drove through the front!!"

  • A 23 minute, 11 verse version of Crime In The City. Without any warning, Shakey says, "Play these chords". The next thing I know, we're doing CITC. At first I'm just following along cause I've never played it before. Well after about 3 verses I know the song inside and out. After 5 verses, I'm doing fills and runs, and working out some percussion stuff by tapping on the top of my acoustic. After 7 verses I'm cracking up cause I'm starting to thing that Jack may actually know all the verses. After 9 verses I look down at the strings on my guitar I see this strange red pattern which I soon figure out is blood from my right index finger. I'm thinkin' Wow. Just like Pete Townsend at Woodstock. And then after 11 verses and 23 minutes, it's over. Fun!

  • Thanks to Mark Wilding for donating the vinyl copy of Re-ac-tor door prize won by Mark Stefeniw. The other door prize, a rust@death T-shirt (from the original pressing   ;-)   ) was donated by me and won by Unknown Legend.

  • The Neilfest Band. What can I say but the band was cookin' on quite a few of the numbers. The Band was various combinations of the following players:
    • Mark Wilding (Bass, acoustic Guitar, and vocals)
    • Jack Mullins (Guitars, harp, and vocals)
    • Locator (Guitars and vocals)
    • Julio (Vocals and harp)
    • John Meckley (Guitars, keyboard and vocals)
    • Preston Nichols (Guitar)
    • Steve House (Guitar and vocals)
    • Erich Schreiber (Guitars and vocals)
    • Mark Stefaniw (Acoustic and electric bass, mandolin)
    • Dave (Keyboard)
    • Kim (Vocal on Out On The Weekend)

  • The songs I "remember" the band playing are (In no particular order and I'm sure I missed some):
    • Too Far Gone
    • Downtown
    • I'm the Ocean
    • Cortez
    • Down By the River
    • Pocahantas
    • Out on the Weekend
    • Southern Man
    • Human Highway
    • 60 to 0 (CITC)
    • Harvest
    • Look Out For My Love
    • Roll Another Number
    • Cowgirl ITS
    • NATDD
    • Burned
    • Change Your Mind
    • Are You Ready For The Country
    • Comes A Time
    • Sugar Mountain
    • Old Man
    • Stringman
    • Don't Cry No Tears
    • My My Hey Hey My My


Thrasher's Fest Report

(Continuing from the Cherry's RustFest report.)

On Saturday, Preston N. from Pittsburgh picked me up and we started south for the road trip to Raleigh. We were well prepared with about 60 Neil concert tapes and about 15 CDs. It was a rental car, so we tested the speakers ability to handle high wattage. The European summer tour tapes served us well, esp. the 20 minute Scenery @ Salzburg.

Driving through pouring rain, high winds and tornado warnings, we were not to be denied. Arriving at about 6p or so, we were greeted by our NeilFest III hosts John & Linda Meckley.

The Meckley's are quite gracious to turn their lovely home over to a bunch of Canadian beer swilling and grunge attired Rusties. The evening featured numerous RUST@DEATH t-shirts. Yours truly was sporting a BRIDGE 95 t-shirt courtesy of the Locator. (Thanks pal!)

Steve House from Charlottesville was in town with his ax. I probably will miss a few Rusties, so I apologize. But we had about 18 or so folks including Mark #1 & Mark #2, Mike F., Jay, & Locator (No SWMBO) :(

Things kicked off with some Neil video clips including some interviews on Ragged Glory, Weld, Harvest Moon & Mirror Ball. Rust Never Sleeps and Human Highway were also featured during set breaks.

The dining room featured some rare collectibles courtesy of Mark including some rare 45's & vinyl! Other decorations included huge subway posters from several Europe tour shows. Also, pix from last year's event and a birthday cake with 50 candles.

Musically, things kicked off with Too Far Gone and proceeded from there. Just about everyone sang and played through the evening. Had about 4 guitars, a piano, an upright bass and mandolin.

A few of the tunes included DBTR, Cortez (featuring some mean vocals by Locator), Harvest, Southern Man, I'm The Ocean, This Note's for You, and about 20 others. Roll Another Number seemed to be a theme song of the evening. All performed quite well with the provisional tuning and improvising.

Around midnight, everyone gathered to sing Neil happy b-day, blow out the candles and cut the cake. Too bad the honored guest missed it!

About 1A or so, things started to wind down. But it wasn't over yet. Everyone was still having a good time. Shakey & John pulled out a version of Crime in the City that left the celebrants awestruck. This was the complete 12 verse version of CITC. Very nice. 20 plus mins! (Reactor, the tapes should be amazing...)

I found an empty floor space at about 3A and turned in. The next morning I learned the jamming continued until 4?! We said our goodbyes the following morning and vowed to reunite for Neil's acoustic tour this winter.

Preston & I headed north on a glorious Fall/Winter day. By the time we made it back to Arlington, VA we saw the remains of the season's first snowfall!

It was good to see old faces and make new friends. See everyone next year! And Thanks esp to John & Linda!


The Photos

These photos are provided by Kim Mutcher, aka Unknown Legend. The size of each is listed below, for consideration by those on slow links.

 --> The Birthday Cake. (42K)

 --> John Meckley, Steve House. (33K)

 --> Shakey, Locator. (27K)

 --> Birthday RustFest Band: Mark Stefaniw, Shakey, Dave, Julio (Syscrusher). (40K)

 --> Group Photo. (45K)

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